Miss. Senator Delivers Remarks on Need to Pass the ‘Stop Taxpayer Funding of Hamas Act’

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today delivered a strong speech regarding the U.S.-Israel alliance and the need for Congress to act to ensure the Biden administration’s intended aid to Palestine does not ultimately benefit terrorist organizations like Hamas.

Hyde-Smith delivered the remarks as part an effort to gain unanimous consent (UC) for the Senate to pass the Stop Taxpayer Funding of Hamas Act (S.1899), legislation that would require the President to certify to Congress that U.S. funds authorized to the territory of Gaza can be spent without benefitting terrorist organizations.

“As the annual appropriations process moves along, I am concerned, as are many of my colleagues, that foreign aid—U.S. taxpayer dollars—could end up in the hands of those who have boldly proclaimed their intent to do harm to Israel and our interests in the region,” Hyde-Smith said.

“The most recent wave of violence in the Middle East makes it clear that our resources must be responsibly spent and kept out of the coffers of terrorist organizations and bad actors whose violence can be bankrolled by commandeering U.S. foreign aid,” she said.

A Democratic objection was raised against to the UC request despite the Biden State Department in May admitting the possibility that American taxpayer dollars could go to fund Hamas terrorists through U.S. aid to the Palestinians.  Hyde-Smith questioned Secretary of State Antony Blinken about this problem earlier this month.

The text of Hyde-Smith’s speech is available here and below.

Madame President, I join my colleagues today in defense of our longtime friend and trusted ally, Israel, and to argue that absolutely no American taxpayer dollars should be spent to benefit terrorist organizations.

Israel has no greater friend than the United States, and the Israeli people have long relied on assistance from the American people and other allies. 

It is an unshakable bond based on mutual respect, shared democratic values and common interests that existed long before the modern state of Israel was founded. 

We must continue to support and foster that relationship with everything we have as Israel faces growing threats from Hamas and other terrorist groups in the region.

As the annual appropriations process moves along, I am concerned, as are many of my colleagues, that foreign aid—U.S. taxpayer dollars—could end up in the hands of those who have boldly proclaimed their intent to do harm to Israel and our interests in the region. 

The most recent wave of violence in the Middle East makes it clear that our resources must be responsibly spent and kept out of the coffers of terrorist organizations and bad actors whose violence can be bankrolled by commandeering U.S. foreign aid.

The Biden administration admitted recently “there are no guarantees” our humanitarian assistance will reach the intended recipients.

Madame President, I believe it is our duty to guarantee this.  It’s imperative that we are certain that not a single cent of taxpayer money is spent to fund Hamas and its military arsenal. 

In this effort, my colleagues and I have teamed up to ensure that safeguards are in place to make sure anti-American and anti-Israel groups do not continue down this dangerous path of radicalization and indoctrination at the expense of hardworking Americans. 

The Stop Taxpayer Funding of Hamas Act introduced by my friend, Senator Scott of Florida, is commonsense legislation. 

It protects American assets and allies, while ensuring that not a penny of foreign aid is spent indoctrinating students abroad and bankrolling terrorist activities. 

This is a non-partisan issue.  Americans do not support terrorism, so they certainly should not have to subsidize terrorism. 

We must take a stand against this barbarism and the harm it poses to innocent civilians.

I simply cannot imagine why any of my colleagues, Republican, Democrat or independent, would oppose legislation that is fiscally responsible, morally sound, and in the best interest of our allies, service members, and future generations. 

Finally, Madame President, I believe we should recognize that American citizens feel the painful effects from the recent flare-up of violence toward Israel. 

In tandem with the global unrest, we have witnessed a significant rise in anti-Semitic attacks largely fueled by old prejudices and accelerated by harmful political rhetoric.

It is my fervent hope that we will dedicate ourselves to stopping anti-Semitic violence, to fortifying our determination to protect the State of Israel, and to promoting peaceful relations in the Middle East.

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Release from Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith.